Day 354 Happy Holidays

I wanted to take this opportunity today to wish all my readers here at 365 Less Things a wonderful holiday season. Whatever the holiday is for you I hope it is full of joy, love and peace.

I wanted to send my wishes today because things can get a little crazy in the last week leading up to our celebrations no matter how simplified we may have made them. I would prefer to think you are spending your holidays enjoying your family and friends and taking as much time as possible amid the craziness to relax and reflect on what the season means to you.

I will still be posting everyday but I am trying very hard to set them up in advance so that I too can relax and enjoy whatever the next week brings. As part of my plan to simplify the lead up to Christmas and a couple of days to recuperate I am going to keep my posts short and simple.  From Day 357 to Day 361 I will be posting a passage of 100 words or less on a key principle of keeping decluttering simple.  So if you feel you need a little declutter fix or a break from the festivities for a moment these short little posts won’t take up too much of your precious time. They will be book-ended on Wednesdays by two of Cindy’s wonderful weekly posts. So enjoy!

I will be taking a peek to read and respond to any comments that might be left for me so if you feel inclined please do so. A blogger has to have her little fix every now and again too.

So once again

I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season

Item 354 of 365 less things

I have two of these stable tables that I got cheap at a garage sale years ago. I only ever use one of the them so this one can go in the donation box.

Stable Table

5 Things I am grateful for today

  1. How little tragedy there has been in my life – For some people bad things happen all the time. I have been very lucky so far.
  2. Knowing people love me and having someone to love.
  3. When someone gives you a smile that reaches into the depths of their eyes – Ooh, it makes me smile just to think about it.
  4. Christmas pudding – with lashings of custard and cream. Mmmmmmm I can’t wait until Christmas day. Mine is almost cooked then it can develop extra flavour over the next six days and should be delicious by lunch time on Saturday.
  5. Art – We are going to go to the local gallery when the pudding is done cooking.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Sending you wishes for a happy holiday, too! Yes, I’ve been awol and a little busy. Finished classes for the year 2010, traveled LA freeways on Friday to visit two groups of friends (12 hr day), and still preparing for the offspring hordes to descend on Willow’s Cottage next week. And then horror of horrors, a three day rain storm in perpetually sunny California. Being a native PNW girl, the rain is familiar for me, but I must say Californians don’t know how to drive or shop in the rain.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Willow, Are you one who has downsized their home? I’ve wondered about that: You downsize your dwelling but then where do the grandkids go when the family comes to visit? My parents always lived in a large enough house until they moved next door. Now, of course, the size of their home doesn’t matter. -Cindy

      • Cindy,
        We have downsized our home and yes, it does get pretty wild at Christmas or any other time my four children and their entourage encamp here. Two bedrooms, two baths, living room, family room. People sleeping in beds, on futons, on the floor. They don’t seem to mind… This is the ONLY time I wish I had a little more room.

    • Hi Willow,
      I imagine the rain is PNG is much the same as in Darwin – when it rains it pours.They didn’t put gutters on the house roofs in Darwin because it usually rained so hard that it would overflow them anyway so there was so point having them.
      Have a wonderful time with your family.

  2. Wishing you happy holidays, too, Colleen. It’s a real pleasure to read your posts every day, as you are such a positive person — which we can observe in action even while you’ve been through some family hardships right before our very eyes. Having a daily dose of your friendliness and positive attitude are just as helpful as the daily dose of encouragement of the subject of decluttering. So, I look forward to enjoying your blog well into 2011 and beyond, as long as you choose to continue! Happy New Year.

    • P.S. Still thinking of the wedding-gown post from a while back — I’m giving my wedding dress to a friend who is a costumer for a theatre company — she says they make fantastic costumes, either as a wedding dress of course, or can be easily embellished into ball gowns, etc. I’m excited about the idea of this dress having a new life, even if it gets modified, because it certainly isn’t having any fun sitting on my highest closet shelf. I also found some costume jewelry to give to the same place — all of this stuff was welcomed with huge enthusiasm!

      • Hi Eve,
        what a generous gesture on your behalf. I am sure the theatre company will get good use out of it. My dress has been at my MIL since we got married nearly 24 years ago I suppose I should relieve her of it while I am visiting next but if I do I won’t be keeping it for long.

      • What a great idea Eve. I love it!

    • Hi Eve,
      thank you so much for those lovely words I really appreciate them. Don’t worry I will be continuing I will just not be posting every day but it will be at least 4 times a week. It has been quite a year though and I am looking forward to a less eventful one next year, please God! Actually all things considered it was a good year. I coped quite well while my husband was in the away for four months, my blog has been a joy to experience, I finally had the sense to quit my job, even though Liam’s accident and injury was scary the outcome was good and I had a wonderful trip to Italy. I really am blessed in many ways.
      Eve you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.

  3. Hey Col

    Good to hear that your pudding is almost cooked……mmmmmm…….we are looking forward to home cooked plum pudding on Christmas Day!!!! Have you all have a safe trip on Wednesday….see you then.


    • Hi Trude,
      the pudding is hanging in the kitchen. Now all I have to is not forget it on Wednesday.

      • I am trying to google Christmas pudding to see what that is!!-I thought it was a regular pudding like chocolate but you gals are talking about keeping it for 6 days and now hanging it up!!

        • Hi Jessiejack,
          the pudding is made from dried fruit like raisins, cherries, sultanas, currents and mixed peel and almonds which are soaked in rum overnight before mixing with just enough cake batter to hold it all together. Then you wrap the mixture up in calico tie it tight around the top and boil it in water for 3 hours. then you hang it up to mature until Christmas day when you boil it again for another hour to re-hydrate and heat it. We serve it with hot custard and cream. Yum.

          • This pudding sounds a lot like what we call in the states the infamous fruit cake. It can last for years if wrapped well in a sealed container, usually a decorative tin can. However, I have never had it served with hot custard and cream. That sounds yummy! Plain fruitcake is often dry and unappealing and few people seem to really like it. You should share your recipe. It might give fruitcake a better reputation.

            • Hi Di,
              Christmas pudding has the same flavour as fruit cake in fact I use my Fruit cake (or as we call it Christmas cake) recipe to make my Christmas pudding. The only difference is that the cake in cooked in the oven while the pudding is boiled. The boiling process make it a lot moister and yummier than the cake. The custard and cream just put the icing on the cake so to speak.

          • Thanks for the info Colleen! it sounds yummy

      • PS Merry Christmas!

  4. Hi Colleen
    While I read every day, I don’t comment (only once, but then I don’t comment much on anyone’s blog) but I always look forward to what you have to say. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. It has been a big year for us as well and I am really looking forward to 2 weeks off work, yay!

    • Hi Judy,
      thank you for the Christmas wishes and thank you again for your well wishes for Liam earlier on. He is doing really well and we are taking him to spend some time with this sister for Christmas. It will be nice for them to be together outside of a hospital ward. Where in the big Land Down Under are you? Merry Christmas.

      • Hi Colleen

        We live in Goolwa South Australia, moved there about a year ago from suburbia. It is really beautiful, and we love it there. I’m so glad that Liam is okay, it obviously was a terrible time for you and your family. I may have mentioned my son’s partner was also very ill this year, in a coma in ICU for 2 weeks, touch and go for that time, but she is doing really really well now. It makes us appreciate what’s important in life, and it sure isn’t more stuff!

        • Hi Judy,
          sound like you opted for a sea change. I googled Goolwa and it looks like a nice place. I was curious to see what was on the island that that long long Bridge lead to and it would seem that they have only just opened that place up for development.
          Being in a coma presents problems of it’s own that have no relation to why a person is there in the first place. Like lack of dental hygiene, Liam is having to do some pretty intensive fluoride treatments to try to reverse decay that set in while he was not able to take care it things properly. Having a broken jaw didn’t help that. Also his voice was really weak for a while due to the breathing tube sitting on his voice box for 5 days. I believe they do a tracheotomy after two weeks if they don’t wake up because the tube will cause permanent damage if they leave it there any longer. I am glad your son’s partner is doing well now. It is certainly a very scary thing to go through. Liam has no idea about that because by the time he could remember one day to the next he was almost all better physically. We keep having to remind him how frightening it was just so he understands that he really does have to take care of his head really well for the next twelve months.

          • Hi Colleen
            The bridge has only been there for a few years, it used to be that you could only access the island by a ferry. However the Marina is new to the area and has added considerably to the population on the island (it was mostly farming etc prior to that). We are nearer to the river than the sea so we like to call it our riverchange! It really is a beautiful, if ever you come this way for a holiday, come and see us, we’d love to see you!
            It really is a scary thing to see your loved one so fragile. I know that for my son’s partner they gave her a cocktail of drugs (apart from the drugs to fix her) that are supposed to make her not remember anything of the time she was in the induced coma and it obviously worked as she doesn’t remember at all. Her last memory was of them telling her they were going to ‘knock her out’ for a few days, and then the next thing is that she was awake so much later. So that’s a good thing for her! I wish we could have had some of those drugs too 🙂

            • Hi Judy,
              I can relate to that although it really was a fascinating experience to what Liam slowly change back to his old self. Now that he is better I wouldn’t want to have missed it (Not the induced coma part, that was just awful, but the recovery after). It was the little changes that I really noticed like when he started to yawn again rather than just suddenly dropping off to sleep and when he started twirling his hair when he was getting tired like he has done since he was a baby and things like that which made me feel like his brain was slowing remembering to do stuff. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
              You have a very merry Christmas and remember to enjoy life every day because you never know what is around the corner.

  5. Happy holidays Colleen, I haven’t been reading your blog for long but I do look forward to reading each day. You have shared some great insights and I have enjoyed reading what you have had to say. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas x

  6. Happy, Merry to you and yours Colleen. All the best for the season and for the new decluttered 2011!!


  7. Colleen, A Very Merry Christmas to you and your family and many more blessings in the New Year! Reading your “5 Things I Am Grateful For Today” has made me more aware of what I am grateful for daily, and I am thankful that you started that. What an inspiring blog this is in more ways than one. Glad I stumbled upon it.

    • Hi Di,
      I am glad you stubbled across it to. I really enjoy your input, keep it coming. I is always good to reflect on the good things in our lives to help as appreciate how lucky we really are, it is too easy to forget some days.
      May you and yours have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011.